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Florida cornerback Marco Wilson is looking to build on a breakout freshman season.

Florida CBs coach Charlton Warren shares initial thoughts on Marco Wilson, C.J. Henderson

Ryan Young

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New position coach Charlton Warren likes Gators young cornerback duo

Florida cornerbacks coach Charlton Warren won’t get to work with his personnel and evaluate the guys first-hand until the Gators open spring practice next month.

But he already knows he’s got a strong foundation to work with in sophomore corners Marco Wilson and C.J. Henderson, who established themselves as freshmen starters last fall.

“I think they meet the mold of what you’re looking for in a corner,” Warren said. “They’re long. They’re athletic. They have good ball skills. They can run. I think as young guys playing in the SEC, they did a tremendous job. I think like every DB, they have a thirst and a hunger to get better fundamentally and technique-wise. I love players that embrace that. ‘Even though I did something well, I have so much more room to grow.’

“And I think when you have players of that mentality, as a coach, you love it. Because now I can push them day-to-day, knowing that they have a lot more to go to become great players. And they understand that and they want that. I love their mindset and I love that I have the opportunity to refine and improve their technique and fundamentals.”

Warren said he is eager to grow the young duo’s football IQ and introduce different defensive concepts, both in man and zone coverage, they may not have learned yet.

“I’m looking forward to working with those guys as well as the other guys in that room that have the ability to play corner for us so that those two don’t have to play 80 snaps a game, which I think will make all of us better,” Warren said. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to working with all those guys in that room and push those guys to be the very, very best player because I am a pusher. I want to really push those guys day-in and day-out to competitively be better, to improve their football I.Q. and that their fundamentals and techniques are on point every time we step on the field.”

For that matter, the Gators do have a lot to sort out in their secondary, both at corner and at safety.

And that may involve shifting some players from one spot to the other. New Gators coach Dan Mullen and his staff have all preached the importance of versatility and having guys who can play multiple positions.

Here’s more on what Warren and new safeties coach Ron English said about their plans for the secondary

Also, the latest edition of the Chomp Chat podcast covers this topic as well.

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Recruiting roundup

  • SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi considers which Class of 2019 de-commits could end up rejoining the Gators’ class by next National Signing Day.
  • Abolverdi also has an interesting story about how Warren surprised 4-star DB recruit Trey Dean on his official visit after being hired by the Gators. Warren had been recruiting Dean to Tennessee, but he helped convince him to sign with the Gators in the end. “Coach Warren recruited me to Tennessee. He came to Florida and told me I was their No. 1 guy they’re going to recruit at corner. He likes me very much and recruits me very hard,” Elam said. Read more here.
  • Florida doled out scholarship offers to two Class of 2019 quarterbacks this week, offering 4-star Taisun Phommachanh from Bridgeport, Conn., and 3-star prospect Jacob Zeno from San Antonio.
  • Speaking of that connection, Warren was also recruiting 4-star Class of 2019 cornerback Kaiir Elam at Tennessee. Now, he’ll try to land him in Gainesville as well.
  • Scout.com’s Jason Higdon caught up with Class of 2019 QB prospect Jalon Jones, who said “The one program I know I’m 100 percent taking an official visit to is Florida. I have a great respect and love for Coach Mullen.” Jones is a 3-star prospect ranked the No. 9 dual-threat QB in this next recruiting cycle, according to the 247Sports composite. See the rest of Jones’ comments here.

On the court

  • The Florida men’s basketball team continued its late-season spiral, taking a 62-57 loss at Tennessee on Wednesday night for its third straight defeat and sixth loss in its last eight SEC games. See what coach Mike White said here.
  • The Gators are now part of a 6-way tie for third place at 8-7 in the league.
  • The Florida women’s basketball team (11-16, 3-11 SEC) has its final home game on Thursday night at 7 p.m. against No. 15 Tennessee (21-6, 9-5).

On the diamond

  • The No. 1 Florida baseball team defeated Bethune-Cookman 7-4 Wednesday night, facing a Wildcats program it clashed with in the NCAA regional finals last year. The Gators improved to 5-0 heading into a weekend series at Miami.
  • JJ Schwarz hit his second homer of the season, an opposite-field shot off the scoreboard in right, while going 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs and 3 runs. Nelson Maldonado also stayed hot, going 3-for-4 with 2 runs.
  • Freshman Jordan Butler made his first start, allowing 3 runs over three innings with 6 hits, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. Sophomore Nick Long got the win, throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
  • The Florida softball team swept two games from Oakland on Wednesday, 6-2 and 10-0. The Gators moved to 10-1 on the season. Read more about the wins here.

What they’re saying on Twitter

  • Florida wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland is getting mentally ready with spring practice less than a month away:

  • As is Gators running back Lamical Perine:

  • Florida defensive end CeCe Jefferson commented on one of his highlights that was posted on Twitter on Wednesday:

Miss a previous edition of Good Morning, Gators? Get caught up here.